Control of poststall airfoil aerodynamics based on surface perturbation

M. M. Zhang, Y. Zhou, Li Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents an experimental investigation on the control of airfoil aerodynamics at poststall angle of attack a using a surface perturbation technique. Piezoceramic actuators were deployed to create a local surface perturbation on a NACA0012 airfoil, along with an open-loop control system, to manipulate flow around the airfoil. Two different control signals were examined, i.e., square and sine waves. Whereas the lift and drag forces were measured using a load cell, the flow was documented using a particle image velocimetry, laser Doppler anemometer and a single hot wire. The surface perturbation significantly improved the airfoil aerodynamics for 12 ≤ a ≤ 20deg. The control effect with the square-wave excitation was found to be much more effective than that with the sine wave. The control was most effective at α = 14 deg: the mean lift coefficient, lift-to-drag ratio, and figure of merit (i.e., the ratio of the power to aerodynamic efficiencies) were enhanced by 35, 64, and 44%, respectively, whereas the mean drag coefficient dropped by 23%. Furthermore, the airfoil stall was postponed by 3 deg. The physics behind the observations were discussed in detail.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2510-2519
Number of pages10
JournalAIAA Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Control of poststall airfoil aerodynamics based on surface perturbation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this